Lincoln Law School Mission Statement

Lincoln Law School of San Jose exists to provide a superior legal education to its students, culminating in the conferral of the Juris Doctor Degree and certification to sit for the California Bar Examination. The School makes an affordable legal education of superior academic quality accessible to those who might otherwise not have the opportunity to pursue a Juris Doctor degree. Since graduating the first Chinese-American lawyer to be admitted to practice law in California, Lincoln has continued to push open doors for minority and immigrant students seeking to make their mark in the legal professions. Along with its other highly-respected programs, the school is also home to the only United States Patent Office Patent and Trademark Clinic in northern California.

History of Lincoln Law School

In the early 1900’s, Dr. Benjamin and Susan Lickey founded a law school in San Francisco aimed at helping veterans and other adults acquire law degrees through a part-time evening course of study, thus creating one of San Francisco’s first evening adult education programs. Additional subjects were added, and within a few years the school became part of a larger university curriculum. In 1926, the new institution, Lincoln University, was chartered as a private, non-sectarian college; in 1949, it was incorporated as a non-profit institution.

In 1961, under the leadership of E. Barbara Jorss and Dean Jerome Sack, a second campus was opened in San Jose. The San Jose campus quickly developed a reputation as a center of innovative legal training and legal discourse. During the 1970’s, Lincoln University broke new ground by producing a ten-part cable television series featuring panel discussions by local attorneys and judges, which addressed legal issues of concern to the San Francisco and San Jose communities.

By 1987, Lincoln University’s entire law school program was concentrated in San Jose. In 1993, the San Jose campus formally separated from Lincoln University becoming an independent, public benefit, non-profit corporation, changing its name to Lincoln Law School of San Jose. In the same year, the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California conferred accreditation on the Law School.

Our Alumni have gone on to become judges, governmental officials, lawyers, successful business people and community leaders. Some notable examples include: Kenneth Fung (’32), the first Chinese-American to be admitted to practice law in California; Presidential Fellow, Chris Moore, of the San Jose Police Department; City Council member and vice mayor, Dave Cortese and former City Council member, Linda J. LeZotte; Superior Court Judges Hugh F. Mullen, Ronald Lisk, Linda Condron; Teresa Guerrero-Daley; Workers’ Compensation Judge Adoralida Padilla; and Commissioners Harold Cole, James L. Heath and Constance Jiminez. Over 18 members of the Santa Clara County Bench have either studied, taught, or served as Trustees of the Law School.

Dean's Message

In her new book, “Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy,” Cheryl Sandberg, COO and Board member at Facebook, writes about facing unexpected difficulties and decisions.

Nothing is less predictable than life, but we all find ourselves thrown off-balance when we face these surprises. Sandberg’s title is a perfect reminder that “Option B” is sometimes our only real option, but, rather than seeing it as a setback, disappointment or failure, we can tackle it in the same way we were determined to approach our first choice. In fact, “Option B” can, with the right perspective, be even more fulfilling, rewarding and life-enhancing.

If you’re considering law school as a path to your future, you already know the traditional “Plan A”; take three years away from your life, family and career to do nothing but go to school and shoulder a quarter million dollars or more in loan debt to get through that time.
But that “Option A” – seen by many as the only path to a career as an attorney – is not available to everyone. Not everyone can simply stop working for three years, or set aside family responsibilities. Not everyone can raise the staggering amounts of money that “Option A” schools demand. And not only are the standardized tests standing in your way developed for native English speakers, the preparatory courses necessary to pass those tests require even more time and more money.

For many people, “Option A” is not an option. Perhaps you’re one of them. That doesn’t mean you must set aside your dream to be a lawyer. It doesn’t mean that the legal community doesn’t need you, and others like you.

Lincoln Law School is dedicated to becoming the path to your goals. We’re here to make sure you have the chance to crush your own personal “Option B.”

Board of Trustees

James F. Barbic, E.A.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, and a former professional baseball player, Mr. Barbic has been an enrolled tax consultant for over 40 years. A veteran of the Korean Conflict, he is known for both his skill and community activism. He has served as Chairman or Director of the California Society of Enrolled Agents, Central YMCA Board of San Francisco, Catholic Social Services, Chinese Youth Alternatives, East Side Heroes, and the World Boxing Foundation (with Mohammed Ali). He was a founding director of Lincoln Law School of San Jose.

Frank E. Biehl

Mr. Biehl has been a Governing Board Member of the East Side Union School District since 2006, serving as President of the Board in 2011 and 2012.  He also served as President of the Santa Clara County School Board Association from 2009-2010.  In 2009, Mr. Biehl was selected to Chair the Santa Clara County Ed Coalition.  Prior to serving in education, Mr. Biehl served as a Management Analyst to state and local governments, General Manager of an international distribution company, and as President and CEO of a regional non-profit.  Since 2008, Mr. Biehl has chaired a number of successful multi-million dollar educational bond measures.  For his extraordinary efforts to provide a quality education for all students, Mr. Biehl has been honored by Californians for Justice, the Latino Parent Coalition, and has twice received the “Amigos de Puente” award.

David Cortese J.D. 

Mr. Cortese past President and current member of the Board of Supervisors of Santa Clara County grew up as part of a family that has been active in civic, cultural and business affairs. He was elected to the San Jose City Council in 2000, was Vice Mayor and was the only councilmember re-elected without opposition to a second four year term. Prior to serving on the city council, Mr. Cortese served on the East Side Union High School Board of Trustees and served as President of the Board on two occasions. He chaired the Evergreen Valley High School “new school committee” and co-chaired a successful $80 million bond campaign which led to the first new high school in Silicon Valley in over twenty-five years. Mr. Cortese was educated at Bellarmine College Prep, Santa Clara University, the University of California, Davis and Lincoln Law School of San Jose. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Juris Doctor. He has been involved in a variety of civic and community affairs, including the Police Athletic League Board of Directors, Board of Directors of the East Valley YMCA, the Italian American Heritage Foundation, President of the Sons of Sicily Club, the PTA and the Board of Directors of “Rotacare”. He has been a member of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, the Santa Clara County School Boards Association, the San Jose Real Estate Board, the Tri-county Apartment Association, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, the Cal Aggi Alumni Association, the Most Holy Trinity Church Development Committee, East Side Heroes and St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Mr. Cortese chaired the Hispanic Foundation. He has been directly involved with the Evergreen, East Hills, Alum Rock and Berryessa Little Leagues. He was one of the founders of East Valley Girls Softball and formerly President of the San Jose (East Evergreen) Rotary Club and also a member of the Evergreen Business and Professional Association. He has also had the opportunity to work with his father; former Assemblyman Dominic L. Cortese, over a political career that commenced in 1968.

Rod Diridon, Sr. – Chair

Mr. Diridon, was the Executive Director of the Mineta Transportation Institute created by Congress at San Jose State University in 1991, began his political career in 1971 as the youngest person ever elected to the Saratoga City Council. Because of term limits, he retired, after 20 years and six terms serving as chair of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and Transit Board. He is the only person to have chaired the San Francisco Bay Area’s three regional governments: the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Association of Bay Area Governments serving nine counties and 104 cities. He served as the Governor’s appointee to the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) Board of which he is chair emeritus. He also serves on the Corporate Board of Directors the Empire Broadcasting Company and Corporate Advisory Board of Wells Fargo Bank and presided over the San Jose Rotary Club in 2009/10. He founded and served as President of the Decision Research Institute, where he developed a “shared survey” research procedure adopted by UNICEF. He’s recently completed a terms as President of the American Public Transportation Association and the national Council of University Transportation Centers, both in Washington, DC.  Mr. Diridon earned a BS in Accounting and a MSBA from San Jose State University where he received the College of Business’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Upon his retirement from elected office, the historic Amtrak/CalTrain Station in San Jose was renamed the “San Jose Diridon Station” in his honor. He has received numerous other awards and citations.

Sarwat S. Fahmy, J.D.  

Mr. Fahmy is the principal and Chief Executive Officer of Calandev, LLC, a world-wide real estate development company headquartered in San Jose.  Mr. Fahmy has been a major developer in China and the Middle East, as well as the United States. A graduate with honors from Lincoln Law School of San Jose, he holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University, a Masters degree in Tax Law from Golden Gate University and attended Harvard University.  He received his B. S. degree from Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

Susan Fish

Susan Oster Fish is a partner in Sheuerman, Martini, Tabari, Zenere & Garvin, a civil litigation firm specializing in medical malpractice defense.  Prior to attending Law School, Susan was a graduate of the Santa Clara University/O’Connor Hospital School of Nursing and practiced hospital, private practice and clinical Nursing.  Susan is a graduate of the Lincoln Law School of San Jose Class of 1995.

Josue Garcia

Mr. Garcia is currently the Chief Executive Officer for the Santa Clara & San Benito County Building & Construction Trades Council. The organization represents 26 construction unions with about 30,000 members. He is the first Latino to hold the position. He worked for the Northern California Fire Protection Compliance Group as the Director of Government Relations and Labor Compliance from October 2014 to January 2014 where he was also the first Latino to hold the position. Mr. Garcia served as the Deputy Executive Officer of the Santa Clara & San Benito Counties Building & Construction Trades Council for 10 years, an organization that represents 26 construction unions with more than 30 thousand union construction workers. Mr. García has a weekly radio segment where he talks to the community about worker’s rights and has appeared on many TV programs on issues that affect the community.

Teresa Guerrero-Daley, J. D. Judge of the Superior Court, Santa Clara County 

Ms. Guerrero-Daley is a graduate of both Lincoln Law School and San Jose State University.  She is a Judge with the Santa Clara County Superior Court.  Judge Guerrero-Daley served as the Independent Police Auditor for the City of San Jose where her work received national, as well as international recognition.  She was previously in private practice specializing in criminal law. Ms. Guerrero-Daley was appointed to the Discipline Audit Panel of the California State Bar and graded the California Bar Exam for five years.  She served as President of the La Raza Lawyers of Santa Clara County, on the Board of Trustees of the Santa Clara County Bar Association, and Chair of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley.

Sharon Hightower

Sharon Hightower is a senior partner and the Assistant Managing Partner in the San Jose office of Ericksen Arbuthnot. Her practice includes the defense of litigation involving professional liability claims, medical malpractice, employment litigation, and personal injury in civil matters. She also provides a defense in professional administrative venues. Sharon is AV® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. She is an experienced trial attorney with more than twenty trials and an excellent record of defense verdicts. Over the more than 27 years of practice, Sharon has gained the respect of her colleagues for her success at trial as well as through the ADR process including arbitration and mediation. Prior to joining the firm, Sharon had a career as a dental hygienist. After graduating from law school in 1987, she passed the California Bar Examination and joined the San Jose office as an associate in 1988. Her background in the medical field provides her with the skills necessary to properly evaluate and prepare cases brought in a number of practice areas. Sharon is a member of and active with the State Bar and Santa Clara County Bar Associations, DRI, and Northern California Association of Defense Counsel. She serves on the ADR committee for the Santa Clara County Superior Court and has volunteered for the past fifteen years in the court’s ADR program. She serves as a temporary judge for the court for settlement conferences and as a traffic judge in addition to serving as a neutral for early settlement conferences. She was appointed to the City of San Jose Civil Service Commission as a member and hearing officer and recently elected to the position of Vice-Chairman. Sharon provides services as a private mediator and has successfully mediated cases involving nursing homes and the Department of Health. She serves as an arbitration for the Santa Clara County Bar Association Fee Arbitration Program. Her background also includes thirteen years of service on the Civil Service Commission as the Vice Chair and Hearing Officer for the City of San Jose.

Teresa Thu Huong Hung-Nguyen

Ms. Hung-Nguyen is a graduate of Peninsula University, which merged with Lincoln Law School of San Jose.  She owns her own practice, The Law Office of Teresa Thu Huong Nguyen & Associates, with lawyers specializing in Immigration, Family Law, Bankruptcy, Wills & Trusts, Personal Injury and Criminal Law.

James Jackson

James was born and raised in a small town in Southwest Missouri. He attended the University of Missouri, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1956. He then graduated cum laude from University of Denver College of Law in 1959 where he was the Editor in Chief of the Law Review. Following graduation he worked for the Department of the Army in Oakland as a procurement law attorney and then for the US Atomic Energy Commission in Berkeley and Palo Alto as project attorney for the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.  In 1963 Jim joined a private practice in Cupertino. During private practice ,as was the custom in small towns in 1963, he handled all aspects of legal practice, including divorce, bankruptcy, criminal defense, real estate transactions, wills, trusts, probate, adoptions, and civil litigation. James became a certified estate, trust and probate attorney in 1993 and remained in that practice until retirement in 2003. Following retirement he immediately began working pro bono for many local non-profits. James was selected as President of the Silicon Valley Planned Giving Council in 2006 and served two years in that role, where he spoke to the National Conference of Planning Giving twice on the subject of charitable trusts.  James married his high school sweetheart Pat Jackson in 1956 and was married 59 years until her death in 2015. He gave up his planned giving work to be her full time care giver for the last 5 years of her life.  Pat and James have three wonderful children and two grandchildren.

Robert S. Kieve

Robert S. Kieve is president of Empire Broadcasting Corporation, a company which he formed in 1967.  Empire owns and operates 1590 KLIV and acts as operating partner of 95.3 KRTY. He also serves as a radio commentator, frequently sharing his views about issues in Silicon Valley. After graduating from Harvard and after summer jobs in New Jersey radio stations, he became Information Officer of the American Embassy in Madrid.  He was program director of a radio station in Geneva, NY and was a promotion writer for CBS in New York City. In 1953 he became a special assistant in the White House, acting as a writer for President Eisenhower. In 1957 he was named manager of station WBBF in Rochester, NY. During his ten years in Rochester, he also put on the air station WBBF-FM, a 24 hour classical music station which won the first annual award of the American Music Council for excellence in FM programming. He is the author of El Arte Radiofonico, a book that for many years was Spain’s only publication on radio broadcasting.  He has been deeply involved in San Jose community activities, including the San Jose Rotary Club, Symphony Silicon Valley, the San Jose Chamber of Commerce and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and as such is affectionately known by many as “Mr. San Jose.”

Kathleen King

Kathleen King is a Silicon Valley community leader recognized for delivering civic, health, and technology initiatives over a 30+ year career. Since 2008 Kathleen has been the CEO of the Healthier Kids Foundation. In 2002 and 2006 Kathleen was elected to the Saratoga City Council where she was also selected to serve two terms as mayor, in 2005 and again in 2010. She was influential in designing programs, developing partnerships, and resolving issues that led to an enhanced, more financially solvent, and safer Saratoga. Kathleen began her career with Applied Materials, Inc. Over a 19-year span she grew to manage an organization of 200 sales, service, marketing, and engineering professionals. She was integral in the company’s growth from $63M to $10B, holding responsibility for more than 3% of all company revenue. Kathleen was the first woman hired into sales and promoted into sales management in the company. Kathleen is an active member of state and community boards including California State Dental Board, Valley Medical Center Foundation, Saratoga Monte Sereno Community Foundation, and the Housing Trust. Kathleen has been awarded at the state and local levels for her contributions to the health and well-being of the community. These awards include Woman of the Year from the California Assembly District 24 in 2004, California Community College Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007, Woman of the Year from Senate District 13 in 2010, San Jose Business Journal 2010 Women of Influence Award, Santa Clara County Medical Association’s 2011 Citizen of the Year Award, and PACT’s Community Builder Award for 2012. Kathleen retired from Applied Materials, Inc., a high-tech firm in Silicon Valley, after twenty-five years working for the company. She served on the Saratoga City Council for eight years and was mayor of the city in 2005 and 2010.

Joseph H. Moless, Jr., Dean Emeritus

Mr. Moless received his Juris Doctorate from the University of California Berkeley, where he was awarded the Order of the Coif.  He has been a professor of Law at various universities, including Lincoln Law School of San Jose, Santa Clara University, and Golden Gate University since 1967.  He spent many years as a partner in various prominent local law firms, where his cases included a First Amendment free speech matter which was argued at the United States Supreme Court.  His partners in private practice included many lawyers who were elected or appointed to the judiciary.  Mr. Moless chose instead to become the Dean of Lincoln Law School of San Jose, a position which he held from 1999 to 2015.  Mr. Moless pioneered many innovative programs during his tenure with the school, including organizing a certificate program for Russian Lawyers.

James Rees

Jim Rees is the CEO at Boccardo Management Group, a privately held commercial real estate development and management company.  His grandfather was revered local lawyer and philanthropist James F. Boccardo.  His great-grandfather, John Boccardo, from Genoa, was a leader in the local Italian community and vice-president of the Bank of Italy, the forerunner to Bank of America.  Mr. Rees has continued his storied family’s contributions to the San Jose community by spending the last three decades building a reputation for developing and managing high quality commercial real estate projects.  He serves on the boards of numerous local businesses and philanthropic organizations.

Delana Romero

Delana Romero is Executive Director of the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Management Corporation (FMC). She was appointed to this position in 2011, after serving in many other capacities for FMC for over 20 years. Under Delana’s leadership, the FMC has achieved profitability for three consecutive years for the first time in its 21 year history. She is highly regarded in the community for her ability to create cohesive teams and for successfully bringing about collaborative, inclusive solutions. Prior to leading the FMC, Delana was Director of Youth Ministry for the Holy Family Parish, where she was also a contributing member of the committee Bishop McGrath assembled to plan for the future of the Diocese into the 21st Century. She has served on the Board of Directors of Los Lupenos, and her community involvement also ties to being an active Rotarian, participating in the Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer, and volunteering for numerous organizations and events, including the Hispanic Foundation Ball, Holy Family Parish, and the Cursillo community. Delana is certified by the Institute of Fai Management Graduate Program, part of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions, and she holds a National Certification in Youth Ministry.

Carmen Sigler, Ph.D

Dr. Sigler retired at the end of the fall 2014 semester as Professor of Romance Languages at San Jose State University where she served as Dean of the College of Humanities and the Arts, Interim Dean of the College of Social Work, Acting President, Provost of the University and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Her field of specialization is Golden Age Spanish Literature and she has published books and articles on topics related to Renaissance Spanish literature and foreign language education. Prior to serving as Provost, Dr. Sigler was Teacher Education Coordinator, Associate Chair for Curriculum, and Department Chair in the Department of Foreign Languages at San Jose State. She also served as Dean of the College of Humanities and the Arts, Interim Vice President for University Advancement and Acting Dean of the College of Social Work. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Montalvo Center for the Arts, Opera San Jose, and has chaired the Board of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, and the YMCA Metro Board and was a Commissioner for WASC. Dr. Sigler was born and raised in Argentina. She received A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Michigan.

TRUSTEES EMERITI

Craig E. Needham
LeRoy J. Neider
James F. Boccardo (1911-2003)

Peter Carter (1943-2013)

Barry Swenson